Study Guide

Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling

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Neville Longbottom

(Click the character infographic to download.)

House: Gryffindor, 6th Year

Neville shares the same birthday as Harry Potter, and, as a result, for a while Dumbledore believed that Professor Trelawney might apply to either Harry or Neville, considering that the prophecy fit both baby's circumstances:

Neville's childhood had been blighted by Voldemort just as much as Harry's had, but Neville had no idea how close he had come to having Harry's destiny. The prophecy could have referred to either of them, yet, for his own inscrutable reasons, Voldemort had chosen to believe that Harry was the one meant.

Had Voldemort chosen Neville, it would be Neville sitting opposite Harry bearing the lightning-shaped scar and the weight of the prophecy….Or would it? Would Neville's mother have died to save him, as Lily had died for Harry? Surely she would….But what if she had been unable to stand between her son and Voldemort? Would there then have been no 'Chosen One' at all?

Neville is not considered the coolest kid on the block, but he is true to himself and doesn't try to be someone he's not. Like Harry, he has remained pure of heart even in the face of great loss and suffering:

Neville's parents, well-known Aurors, had been tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange and a couple of Death Eater cronies. At the end of Neville's interview, Harry had the impression that Slughorn was reserving judgment on Neville, yet to see whether he had any of his parents' flair. (7.160)

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